Disruption, the Strength of New Marketing and the Social Media Revolution

Many consider 2011 and 2012 as an awful time. However, some consider these years were necessary: a time for change, a time for disruption in communication and marketing and for the appearance of new ways of thinking and doing. Many companies, marketing and communication agencies and brands have suffered these changes and disruption has left them behind. I think we should stop to think for a moment and acknowledge this step in the evolution of our businesses.

The Need for an Interruption

The forces of creative destruction require time and effort and need to make things happen. New economic outputs will not arrive until the system has been disrupted in the way it is now. This could explain the current cycle we find ourselves in.

Clearly, we cannot simply implement new social technology or new forms of communication to do old style marketing and expect it to work. That would be like putting wings on a car and expect it to fly. Neither can we be naïve and expect social media/mobile marketing to operate without friction alongside traditional marketing planning. It would be a mistake.

The Intersection Will Create New, more Human Businesses

When we combine digital marketing with human interactions, the new economy we’re experiencing (as regards connection andsharing), traditional media and strategic marketing, the impact of this combination will irrevocably change the environment as well as the way strategies are devised, actions are structured and carried out, results are measured and objectives are met. This may free the entrenched ideas of what marketing should be and, in turn, inspire fantastic new human businesses, beyond the social: such as communities encouraged to interact with the community by providing substantial value to it or online communities, designed for a special target especially, that helps them discover their own shining light. Long-term communities for people that want to find a job, with a business model that promotes interaction with the community and not the consumption of contents.

Nobody knows …

While current events are stormy and terrifying, they also offer great marketing opportunities which would have been impossible before them. It’s up to us, the marketers (not only the technology professionals) to create new paths, together.

What will the future bring? Nobody knows, even if many are trying to work it out! It’s definitely not Isra who’s about to tell you. What is clear, however, is that disruption is unavoidable to advance towards a new horizon.

Photo credit: splitmango.

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Looking on the Social Web for Humanity and Rays of Light

One of my favorite pastimes has always been watching people watching, you learn a lot. One day I started paying more attention to the environment we were living and how this marketing and media revolution was changing the game. Indeed, during the last two years the game has changed considerably, it has turned more smart and selective.

Social media was born as something difficult to measure, but inevitably it appeared new ways of measure our activity and its results. It was not easy, sure, and it did not happen in one night, but eventually business began to discover new winning paths using the social web.

Social Media is Evolving

Social media, as any other type of marketing and communication, it is evolving right now. Through the last years, advertising and PR were focused on the “big idea”: manipulating the hearts and minds of organizations and individuals… and thus, business itself. Then the question was… How could I manipulate and alienate businesses and people? Nobody knew exactly how to do it, but the numbers – from whenever they come – showed that it worked.

The “Social” Revolution

Time before the Internet appeared and with it digital, and then the revolution, the “social” revolution, meaning the disruption of marketing and communication. The Internet destroyed any kind of frontier that prevented from a free, human, authentic and genuine communication, today the social web has thunder any trace of retention measure towards a global communication. Now, creating connectivity and resonance with any person of this world is possible, yes it’s possible. All thanks to certain human extensions called Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, Facebook, Foursquare, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Youtube, Google +.  We had something really valuable to work with.

Back to the Past Again?

However, we wanted to step further before saving what we had closer, people. We forgot creating long-lasting relationships with our community members. The fact that hundred of thousands of organizations, agencies and marketers were not paying attention to the existing link between relationships, results and measurement made that they started ironically focusing on online advertising, massive marketing and influence. Sadly, it take us back to the conversation isolation and media saturation, it take us back to the over-communicated past society.

Happily, it is changing again. Thanks God we are more human than ever and we’re looking for this small ray of light that the social web creates, and not for the disturbing noise that come with it.

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New Media Allowed Writing the Title of the Revolution

human media - isra garciaDuring all this years we have seen how the tv, newspapers, family and even school tried to force us following a manual, arguing that we had no choice.

Now, thanks to New Media, those from above (status quo) truly have no choice but change. It’s finish. Welcome to the era of transparency, connectivity and authenticity, a new era where you have an unlimited canvas and colorful crayons to draw your path. Be clear, write a title and tell us what to do, please.

Without the Internet there wouldn’t be the Web, without the Web the New Media wouldn’t have appeared and neither Social Media without it. Therefore, we wouldn’t have reached to the human approach.

It’s a Re-Evolution

New Media isn’t only the evolution of media, but the focus on the intersection of the connectivity between people and information technologies and innovation to take processes beyond traditional media methods. New Media isn’t neither a simple communication or marketing revolution, although it has broken traditional and massive broadcast models. We may never again want to call the radio and TV communication channels. How can they be if the are not created for an interaction between both point of the bridge or even a relationship based on relationships? A fair message exchange? Real-time, sincere and authentic feedback? An equality in the rights of expression for some of the elements that play a role in the communication process? New Media is a revolution beyond the evolution, because it’s an evolution that has revolutionized how people and businesses communicate and market. Everything that New Media touches, it changes dramatically.

Inside-out

As I said, New Media changed the game. However, it doesn’t create a whole new world, it leverages the Internet harnessing the appearance of the Social Web: platforms, tools, channels, practices and any other type of element that can create connectiveness, relationships, conversation and feedback and also can clean that way to human interactions. Therefore, we’ll open the inside world to resonance and attunement with the outside world.

New Media gives crayons to everyone, so you can start our own revolution.

Photo credit: grrlwriter.

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Social Media isn’t Magic – It’s about Staying Human on the Internet

staying humanSocial Media is not magic, nor does it surprising tricks, you will need more than magic to succeed. I am talking about a process that truly makes sense when it’s aligned with the business strategy and also gets inter-departamental touching every aspect of the business model.

I am afraid but Social Media is not the damn thing that will save your business from crashing.

What does social media really do for you?

It multiplies you reach, harnesses the power of global communications, mingles you with the party, connects emotionally with your audience, makes use of the social web to empower human interactions and also gives you real and measurable results.

What the heck! This is meaningful, I suppose you want to be on the top of the wave, I have got a question, why?

Perhaps you want do it for some of these reasons: reach more potential customers, align our marketing strategy with the online channels, find a niche inside the networks, less spent on marketing and advertisement, connect with our real customer, generate more traffic towards our website/blog, increase business leads or skyrocket the conversions rate.

This is me or the reasons shown below are so cool? I think that at least they make sense. Are you with me? Let me be clear and direct, there’s no magic formula, neither golden egg, sorry… Is there any other way? Sure, it starts from simplicity, launching and shipping right on their noses, experiment with campaigns and platforms uses, accepting failures as usual, but not mistakes – meaning failing more than one time at the same thing. Trying different is what matters in Social media, it means walking new paths, trying differently until you make something happen. Social Media is not what God sent you to save the world – actually are people – but an opportunity to a new media and marketing dimension. You only need to approach it as it was a strategic planning and goals definition. Do you get it?

The Key – Staying Human

Social Media can be understood in different ways, there will be people that it will talk about platforms or tools and there will be some – the crazy ones – that will say that it’s about people. I believe that Social Media is a means of expression that makes possible for customers, communities and brands “staying human.” That is to say, they will connect and establish relationships and thus, interactions among people through transparency, commitment, empathy, humility, consistency, coherence and closeness.

Staying human means going beyond the Social thing. It’s about how the information technologies we have available, together with the media innovations can help us building professional-personal relationships in situations and contexts where we were not be able to do it years ago.

Photo credit: mojo social media marketing.

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Social Media and Technology Won’t Change the World, People Will

The potential that social media handles today is tremendous, I do think that managers, CEOs and directors of big companies, associations, institutions and brands, should consider the valuable opportunity that they have in their hands and make use of the Social web and technology to create change in the environment, which includes people.

It’s clear that the new world where we are living now has impacted and shifted work, marketing and media processes. It’s ok, but… How important it’s if we don’t try to help finding meaning to other people?

Human ROI is Possible

Human Media is an idea that I was chasing for quite some time, almost more than a year… Why this idea? Simply because it’s about staying human through the Internet, it makes possible equip people with knowledge and experience, help them to reach their goals (personals and professionals), deliver real value to the world, exchange and expand ideas and perspectives, meeting new approaches, finding a better applicability to the use of the Social Web, feed with coherence the online strategies that our brand may be developing and of course, pointing out to the results. It seems to me that all of this it could be possible without losing the human touch, it’s possible make use of social media and technology without the need of focusing just on numbers instead of people, we don’t have to embrace the anonymous system anymore, this way of doing marketing intrusive, cold and massive, let’s end it up.

Human Innovation: Connect, Create and Build

Undoubtedly, we are in the media and marketing disruption era, a new era where the online media is being used in the wrong way, we are boosting them the other way around, the social web potential could be lost if we continue with this practices.

We need that the platforms and tools allow us to connect, build relationships and create human interactions, we need that people fuel the Web and not the ego-system. We are in a scenario where the mobile connectivity is demonstrating that it’s a real alternative to reach customers. There connectiveness is more important than targeting or retaining customers, now touching emotionally is the new CRM. It’s the era of the human innovation through the Internet. Now people wants to be involved in the game, interact and change the outcome, we are not merely viewers anymore, the are businesses – and people – that are creating effective channels so they can communicate with their potential audience and customers and so, generate a favorable outcome for them.

Make Something with it

Human media doesn’t belong to me, it’s only one of many approaches that could help to create change and build something significant, in this case I just was determined to make something happen and then launch it. It’s being accepted and used as a model for many businesses and people, so it seems that’s working, nice. It’s your turn, grab it, modify it, improve it, adapt it to your business needs and apply it depending what you are looking for, create a game for you to win in the most human way possible.

After all, it has to be somebody crazy enough to step ahead, be questioned and criticized. but, if it helps and equip people, all this effort will be worth it, then I don’t mind do it as many times as needed.

Social Media and technology won’t change the world, people will. Why don’t focus constantly on that?

Photo credit: Blaise Agüera y Arcas (TED).

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How to Integrate the Social Web into your Business

human mediaPerhaps you don’t know where to start, that’s ok. Every project, person or business requires something unique, a special treat, it’s a new adventure.

On the other hand, perhaps you are tired of listening terms such as social media, new media, human media or social business, social CRM and so on. I believe that it can be annoying when people talk too much about these “buzzwords,” let alone not showing real results or even giving a starting point. Please, we need something actionable and applicable from you, please.

Here you have my “no problemo” approach, I would like to provide you with some movements that may help in your path towards building an online presence. Find here some of the essential points for implementing the social web, social media and so, new media into your business.

How to implement the Social Web into your business

– Strategic formulation: design, structure, integration, implementation and the make-of of a strategy based on general and specific goals. Think about how this fits into the business model, it should be integrated within the overall business strategy and aligned with the offline marketing and communication. Also consider the role that SEO, digital marketing, creativity, web development, APPs and mobile marketing are playing.

– Training and guidance: A must for most of the group, this is something complicated because many brands either allocate one / two people to work on it or go for the outsourcing model. As we have seen many times and you probably know, Social Media is not an isolated case, neither will it do the magic. The real potential lies in integrating people and processes and making them work. You should be looking for interdepartmental work, which means involving all company areas in the online interaction. Make use of the training process to harness that opportunity and inspire those people.

Do not sell complicated to people who come to you to buy simple. Once you have opened their minds and hearts, it is the right time for using the the tools, platforms, APPs, channels and media more effectively, so they’ll have the tools to reach their goals – theirs, not yours.

– Social processes: interactive works, social media customer care, online-emotional touchpoints, community funnel, best practices handbooks (internal and external) and cross media. Basically, offline-online job transformation, taking departments and processes to the social web and developing extended functions.

– Social Media guidance, creation, distribution and leadership: choose someone who is close and in constant contact with your business. They are the ones who should create, distribute, exchange and share social objects: pictures, videos, posts, podcasts, etc. Don’t manage, but lead.

– Development, optimization and understanding of the Social Web Ecosystem: first select the tools, channels, APPs, mediums and platforms. Then develop a highly online-oriented strategy supported by let’s say, two main goals based on the intended typology, quirks and peculiarities. Finally allocate resources and schedule each of them. The result: you have already designed a customized online ecosystem for your business. The main idea is that it allows you to see the big picture of your online strategy.

– Community engagement: lead, build interactive bridges between brands and people, respond, redistribute and filter content, connect and interact with your audience. Say what you are going to do, how, where and with whom.

– Actions: ideas, ideas, ideas, ideas and more ideas. You have only one big commitment, being accountable for the brilliance, you are responsible for the online campaigns and social media actions that will impact your audience, but most importantly, it should be designed to reach your goals: monetization, branding, visibility, virality, direct sales, traffic, etc,

– Reputation, tracking and monitoring: online branding, naming, digital corporate identity, listening techniques (opportunities and threats). Sending reports about what is said about the brand within the online landscape. Furthermore, taking care of the brand, its reputation and carry on with a qualitative and quantitative brand analysis. What happens in our brand atmosphere is really useful in order to get the word out .

– Monetization: set up the techniques and methods which you would help you obtain the expected ROI. You are waiting to get something in return, aren’t you?

Is there any other advice that you would add about the implementation of new media in your business? What is your take on this?

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How New Media Changed The Game

isragarcia - new media - human mediaLately, we have been talking about Human Media, but now I’d like to explore how the New Media has changed the game.

Human media wouldn’t be possible without New Media, which has revolutionized the way we market, communicate and do business. As an example, we are still using the telephone, post and TV but it is not working as effectively as it did before. Instead, we use Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google Plus, Foursquare, Youtube, Spotify, LinkedIn, in different ways for different reasons, with different people from different places, cultures and backgrounds.

We Are New Media

New Media converts us into authors, publishers, protagonists, leaders, role models, lobbyists, affiliates, middlemen and information exchange points. New Media offers us a blank sheet where we can draw the lines of our personal brand, the way we want to communicate and market our company, the business strategy of our Startup or the actions that will take our small business over into the next year. New Media is only showing us that everything we do to create change depends solely on us.

User generated content is widespread on the Web, there are posts from people that get more visits than the most important current affairs sites.

So What?

So what’s happening here and now? Due to the disruption of Social Media and the opportunity New Media affords us, we need a redesigned model that focuses on the right thing, the most powerful tool on earth, people. The need for a more humanized media, the need for Human Media.

Photo credit: Kexino

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A Paradox: Social Media as the Root of Human Media

social media, the root of human mediaThe revolution all started with Social Media, which is the root of Human Media. This might look like a reverse process, a paradox, as it is generally assumed that social communication should come out of human interactions. Maybe this has been the mistake: using technology and social media as a means of communication to select , categorize and label communities, that is to say, people. We often forget that this connection should be made based on human values.

Allow me to point out that when you listen, understand, respond, build relationships and connect emotionally, you are being human, not social. The social media challenge is to get back to human nature.

It seems that Social Media is about technology, APPs, platforms and Tools. Let’s be clear, all of this is brilliant when it humanizes processes and creates connectivity in the real world; when it supports the backwards transfer from 2.0 to 1.0 and vice versa. What I mean is that Social Media, as it is, won’t change the history of humanity, but it’s very probable that what’s happening with the help of Social Media, could actually bring about change through human interactions.

What say you? Photo credit: Mothetrip.

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Disruption Media: Do You Interrupt or Communicate?

disrupt media - human mediaLately, the Social Web has been filled with so much bla-bla: noise, many words headed in the wrong direction, intrusive messages, non-sexy robots, predetermined users…which is what I call “disruption media”.

When Nothing Else Matters

On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, Digg or Reddit – more and more brands and marketing professionals dedicate their time to publishing, without a response (or chance to give one), without feelings or coherence, without worrying about the people beyond an artificial platform. They are not here to generate change, to make something happen, to mark the difference or add value to what you are doing. Not to mention helping you to achieve what you are aiming for…no, oh no. The only thing they are looking for is interrupting your smooth trajectory, your communication, your human interactions, your way of seeing and achieving things.

Artificial Is Not Cool

What matters is not your Facebook or Twitter account, your LinkedIn Profile or your Foursquare check-ins. These won’t come to you and buy your products, they won’t tell it to their friends, nor will they become your loyal clients. I really doubt that they would reserve a table for you at your favorite restaurant or buy a flight ticket for your next trip. I have a hard time believing that they will make you laugh, cry or fall in love at first sight, or at second.

Don’t Just Be Pure Substance

The difference between interrupting and communicating lies in the lack of response from brands, as they are not willing to reply to any comments. BAD! A conversation can’t happen without any interlocutor, without knowing that there’s a voice at the other end, someone who listens and allows you to connect and build long-lasting relationships that go beyond technology. By not taking this into consideration, you lock yourself in a room full of people, which in fact looks empty to you as there’s no way to chat or create resonance. It’s like a one-way street with no communication. Just a sender and a receiver. Purely insubstantial.

Welcome to the disruption era – this gives us the opportunity to make use of the new media to transmit our values, abilities, emotions and knowledge through the Internet. And this opportunity is Human Media.

Photo credit: tusharthinks.com

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Human Media Fundamentals

Now it’s time for everything to be placed on a map and coherently drawn – thank you Luis Calabuig. These are the Human Media Fundamentals, the concepts which define the way to a new form of communication, one that represents the end of the Social era in its pure state of art.

Human Media goes deeper than 3.0 and makes it possible for a company to offer products or services that meet the clients’ expectations. How? Simply because the clients realize that they have someone to connect with at the other end of the channel, they find common means to communicate and be listened to.

This is your opportunity to connect people and communities, build relationships, generate loyalty and be involved in human interactions, all this on the base of gaining great relevance and reach. Doesn’t that sound brilliant?

First of all, let’s define the fundamentals of Human Media. There are 10 fundamentals, which most of the times are interrelated, complement or support each other. They are presented in a chronological order, so as for you to easily identify the relationships between them.

The Human Media Fundamentals

human media fundamentals - isra garcia - odosdesign

Social Media…

…is the root of Human Media. This might look like a reversed process, a paradox, as it is generally known that social communications should derive from human interactions. Maybe this has been the mistake: using technology and social media means of communication to select, categorize and label communities. The connection should be made based on human values.

Allow me to point out that when you listen, understand, respond, build relationships and connect emotionally, you are being human, not social. The social media challenge is take back to the human nature.

Disrupt Media

The interaction between Social Media and Human Media has started here and now. We live in an world of information overload and this saturation is already reaching the Social Media environment; not because there are too many people using it, but due to the way they are using it. The hype, the “social media experts”, “Community Manager Seniors” and other products saying “we-are-the-solution-to-all-your-problems” have transformed the opportunity to create connectivity into a “bla, bla” movement.  Noise, many messages sent in the same direction, intrusive messages, “non sexy” robots and predetermined users is what I call disruption media. The eruption of social media as sales pitches, with the wrong goals, which are artificial and strictly commercial have generated a new Social Media breach, which is what once happened to conventional marketing, only with this there is more awareness regarding the matter.

Welcome to the disruption era – this gives us the opportunity to make use of the new media to transmit our values, abilities, emotions and knowledge through the Internet. And this opportunity is Human Media.

The good news is that we’re no longer accepting these agents…what has taken them there won’t get them here, that I know for sure.

New Media

Human media wouldn’t be possible without New Media, which is revolving our everyday lives. As an example, we are almost not using the telephone anymore. Instead, we use Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Google Plus, Foursquare, LinkedIn, in different ways for different reasons.

The New Media is more than an evolved type of communication, as it’s located at the connection point between people and information/innovation technologies. I can’t call it the revolution of communication either, even though it has broken most of the traditional broadcast models – can’t even mention the TV, newspapers or radio here, as they are not a means of communication. How could they be, given that they never facilitate an interaction, feedback or any type of expression rights from the message recipient? New Media is the re-evolution, as it is an evolution that has revolutionized the ways of communicating both between people and businesses.

New Media converts us into authors, publishers, protagonists, leaders, affiliates, connectors and information exchange points. New Media offers us a blank sheet where we can draw the lines of our personal brand, the way we want to communicate and market our company, the business strategy of our Startup or the actions that will take our small business over to the next year. New Media is only showing us that everything we do depends on us.

Human Conceptualization

We are now thriving to make every interaction as human as possible. The key now is to stay human while still making use of the Internet. The human conceptualization of the processes helps us better understand the online platforms and tools in order to generate the WOW! effect. This is part of the Human Media strategy: create credibility, trust and resonance. By simply understanding the key concept – stay human – we will be able to create a fundamental change in the way we relate to other people within interactive environments.

Human Integration

This is the tactical part of Human Media, how to stop being a robot, advice, recommendations and experiences that will help you to emotionally connect.

Human Branding

The brands’ focus is radically changing, now brands are like us, act like us, dress-up, eat, criticize, complain, have fun and connect like we do. Nowadays, brands are more human than ever, they undertake a process called Human Branding. This is translated into a new type of communication: Human Media.

The human side of brands will be soon reaching a tipping point: we’ll stop talking about brands, but people, feelings, emotions, histories and abilities.

Businesses have finally understood who are their most valuable assets: the people. This is why their efforts are concentrated towards generating positive emotions, both internally and externally.

In the case of companies, the way to integrate this change into their business model is called Human Business. In order to be able to interact through Human Media, the way of connecting/thinking/functioning must suffer a great change. It’s something imminent, though you are welcome to simply stick to your Social Media strategy and only change when you have no remedy left; though it will then cost you more time, money and effort.

Human Leader

This concept refers to all the people who use the web in order to add a human touch to their business and lead communities with transparency, honesty, resonance, charisma and authentic relationships. Human Leaders (HL) understand the importance of this change and use it to build a sustainable future.

The HL inspires and leads through the web. He’s not a robot, he’s a vivid human being.

We’re basing this idea on years of experience as hybrids made of analogic and digital components, combined with the understanding of the people and the business. We can tell you how and what to do, but you would still need to make an effort to apply the formula to your business.

We’ve discovered that people who understand how to build relationships through the Social Web, know how to make businesses work by using the same knowledge.

The Human Ecosystem

This is where the inertia comes into action. The Human Ecosystem is aiming to create an area of relationships and human interactions on the web, taking advantage of the resources, benefits, peculiarities and profiles of each participant.

– Channels: PPC, SEO, SEM, SMM, SMO, SM, Web Development, Design, Innovation, Community, Tech, Entrepreneurship, New Media…

– Platforms: Twitter, Soundcloud, Foursquare, SCVNGR, LinkedIn, WordPress, Google +, GetGlue, Yelp, Stumble Upon, Slideshare, Ustream, Flickr…

– Tools: Workflowy, Timely, Scoop It!, Storify, Badgeville, Let’s Lunch, Prezi, Skype, Flowtown, TrackUR, Posterous, claim.io, Social sharing, Radian 6…

– APPs: Boxcar, Evernote, Instagram, Bump, Whatsapp, Latitude, LiveShare, Notepad, Pulse, Google APPs…

– Media: Online and Offline. Precisely, this is the way: interconnecting both realities.

Human Business Interactions

The process of creating interactive bridges between people and brands as a result of taking the online warmth to the offline relationships also works the other way round: the business model based on emotional touch points. The Human Business interactions make use of all the Social Media resources (Human Ecosystem: channels, media, platforms and tools) in order to apply the emotional side of relationships on to the business framework.

This is one of the most important Human Media fundamentals, the way that Internet is backing-up the human relationships in order to generate business opportunities.

Your mileage could be different

These are the Human Media fundamentals, where human interactions, people, Internet and businesses start to make sense. I am confident that the concept will build-up, expand, generate ne concepts, but still, this is where it starts from. Some of the fundamentals might be useful to you, some not. Don’t worry, we are in a permanently reinventing state, take advantage of it.

Human Media is the way to understand how people make use of the information technology and interact on the Social Web.

Why wait for someone to award you permission? Implement Human Media into your strategy today, simply do it. [Read more…]

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